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How will Twins fill center field?

  • November 22, 2007 - 9:41 PM

In-house options: The Twins released Lew Ford last month, and while Jason Tyner is expected back, he's best used as a fourth or fifth outfielder. Denard Span, the 2002 first-round draft pick, probably needs another season at Class AAA Rochester. He batted only .243 during the first half last year before batting .306 in the second. He needs polish with his offense, defense and baserunning.

Free-agent options: The Twins probably won't spend big for Andruw Jones or Aaron Rowand, and even Mike Cameron could be out of their price range. Two cheaper alternatives are Corey Patterson and Kenny Lofton. Patterson probably will get a multiyear deal, but Lofton, 40, could be a one-year stopgap.

Trade options: The Twins have had discussions with the Red Sox about Coco Crisp, who has become expendable with the emergence of Jacoby Ellsbury. The Twins also could try to land a young center fielder, such as the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, if they choose to trade Johan Santana or Matt Garza.

JOE CHRISTENSEN

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